A continuing challenge for Free Software is that everyone wants it to be… free. However there is always a cost for initial development, in terms of someone’s time or money.
As a consultant and OpenEMR developer I have several clients who have generously sponsored important OpenEMR improvements. But I’ve also found that some desirable features remain unaddressed because no one is willing to fund the entire cost of development.
Of course, society solves this kind of problem all the time. I drive to the grocery store every week, but I didn’t pay for the entire cost of the road. So should it be with software.
Accordingly, my company Sunset Systems has organized a collaborative method for improving OpenEMR. We have put together a “wish list” at here. What you can do is pick an item on the list (or propose a new one) that is important to you, and tell us how much cash you might be willing to contribute toward its development, along with any special requirements you may have. When it appears that sufficient funding is available to complete your item to everyone’s satisfaction, we’ll contact you and the other contributors to confirm agreement and then make it happen.
I think this will be an interesting experiment. It would be wonderful to see cooperative funding work for OpenEMR and other open source projects.